Uganda: Buikwe Criminal Gang Arrested After Five Months

The leader of "Boys Boys", a lawless criminal outfit which has allegedly been prowling Njeru Municipality and committing a wide range of atrocities, will face court martial, police have said.

Kapul, as he is being referred to by police, was on Monday arrested during a joint sting operation by the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) and police, that started on Sunday, following a tip-off from the local leadership.

The Ssezibwa Region Police Spokesperson, Ms Hellen Butoto, on Tuesday said the elusive suspected gang leader was arrested with 11 accomplices while in possession of an army uniform and is being detained at Njeru Police Station pending investigations.

How they were nabbed

Ms Butoto said that following the Sunday night operation that netted the 11 suspects, it was discovered that Kapul was not among the group.

"After screening the suspects, we discovered that our most wanted criminal was not among them and directed the UPDF and additional policemen to a hideout in Kyabagu Village, Njeru municipality in Buikwe District and that is where we found him.

Kapul is said to have rented a self-contained house where all his accomplices met and received instructions. He is further said to have been holed up at the address after learning that he was being sought after by police for crimes he allegedly committed.

"Since then, he has never moved out of the house and does everything from inside; most of his accomplices are not residents of Jinja, they are from Kampala.

"The prime suspect, upon seeing police surround his hideout, started pretending to be mad while talking incoherently to the officers. He tried to resist arrest but was eventually booked at the station," Ms Butoto said.

According to Ms Butoto, Kapul and his gang have been on the 'police's most wanted list' since last year for suspected murders, robberies, rape and burglaries in Buikwe District. She said the suspects will be tried by the court martial.

The Vice Chairman Kyabagu Village, Mr Majid Wamagambi, said one of the residents who identified the suspects' hideout, reported to his office and he alerted police at Njeru Police Station which was backed up by the UPDF, leading to arrest of the group leader.

"People in Njeru Municipality have been living in fear because of this man called Kapul. I think he has been in this hideout for this long while police hunted for him but people feared to report for fear of being attacked by members of his group," Mr Wamagambi said.

Mr James Okumu, a resident of Mbiko Village, said peace has been restored following the arrest of the criminal suspected leader and his gang which had created fear among residents and security personnel.

"There should be no compromise for these suspects; once they make a court appearance, people are ready to testify against them," he said.

Mr Daniel Amacha, a boda boda rider, said that the arrest of members of Boy Boys leader has been the talk of the area since Sunday.

Operation started in March

The UPDF and police mounted a hunt for the elusive criminal gang in March following reports that ladies in Njeru Municipality, Buikwe District were being raped and killed respectively.

During a meeting of stakeholders and residents chaired by the Ssezibwa Regional Police Commander, Ms Susan Nalwoga in Njeru, the residents accused some police officers at Njeru Police Station of conniving with criminal gangs and suggested that the UPDF joins in their pursuit.

Ms Nalwoga urged whoever had information regarding the criminal gangs to share it with her office. Since their ringleaders had been identified, she said, arrangements were underway to arrest those still at large.

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